In the third Webinar hosted by the Federation of Kenya Employers, the forum addressed matters that may arise in managing employment contracts in the wake of the Corona Virus pandemic that has plagued nations Worldwide. FKE constituted this meeting under its wider mandate of offering expert advice on employment, labour relations and human resources best practices at the workplace.
The Executive Director Ms. Jacqueline Mugo while giving her opening remarks noted that COVID 19 presented both a health and an economic crisis with huge social economic impact in the labour market.
“The International Labour Organization (ILO) notes that there is a sharp rise in unemployment due to a grind of economic activities further causing a sharp decline in wages since work has reduced. Occasioned by this, companies are at a risk of collapsing, “she said. Mrs. Mugo also noted that countries like Spain had already reported more than 200 businesses going out of operation. Moreover, the drop in Human mobility and activities in order to curb the spread of the virus has had a huge impact globally.
The Executive Director noted that during these difficult times, the Labour sector in Kenya had called for innovative and effective employment structures to help cushion Businesses and Kenyans at large. In this regard, the Federation of Kenya Employers will continue to provide information to enable members’ benchmark with the international community. Further, FKE had earlier prepared and issued guidelines to members on mitigation measures during the period.
“We have been part of a high-level tripartite meeting that sought solutions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 at the workplace,” said Mrs. Mugo. She noted that the Federation had been in talks with the government and the private sector to keep track at what is happening in order to provide business ideas as a whole. More so as part of the Emergency Rapid Response team the Federation now tracks what is happening at the workplace and collaborates with the Ministry of Labour to come up with requisite measures to address the situation as it unfolds.
Grace Kanyiri, Head of Legal and Industrial Relations at FKE while expounding on managing employee contracts noted that the type of contract determines how best employers can handle employee’s contract during unforeseen circumstances like Covid -19 and its negative impact of business. She emphasized on the need for social dialogue in handling the situation because of the unforeseen disruptive nature caused by the pandemic. Speaking against unfair termination and redundancies, she urged employers to adopt fair labor practices because recovery was dependent on the ability of enterprises to survive and absorb employees back into the economy.